The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia Tuesday announced that it will work in conjunction with the Fulton County District Attorney’s office to help prevent youth violence during the summer.
The agencies “launched the second annual Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Credible Messenger Youth Summer Violence Intervention (the ‘Summer Mentorship Program’) at the Atlanta Police Foundation’s At-Promise Center,” according to a press release.
“Last summer’s intensive mentoring efforts yielded a success rate of nearly 90%,” said U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan in the release. “This type of structured and deliberate engagement is proven to decrease recidivism and bolsters community safety. We are pleased to partner with community leaders, law enforcement and families to support these youth, get them connected to college and career resources, and keep them actively engaged for the summer.”
The program aims to mentor 10 juveniles aged 14 to 17 who are on either juvenile or adult probation, with the goal being to help those juveniles avoid recidivism.
“Through 10 hours of mentor engagement per week, youth will participate in support forums, career readiness training, community engagement and evidence-based, cognitive-behavioral, life-skills sessions utilizing the Forward Thinking and Project EGRESS Curriculum,” the release said. “Youth who satisfy the program’s requirements will receive a weekly stipend, made possible by a generous donation from CHRIS 180, formerly known as CHRIS Kids.”
Tuesday, the city of Atlanta, located in Fulton County, also announced its plans to keep children engaged and to prevent crime during the summer months.
During summer, crime generally increases sharply in Atlanta.
According to Mayor Andre Dickens, a summer youth employment program has been launched, and its goal is to hire 3,000 14- to 24-year-olds to keep them off the streets, help them earn money, and help them develop skills.
Dickens also introduced Interim Police Chief Darin Schierbaum at the press conference.
Schierbaum says police participate in recreational sports leagues called Police Athletic Leagues (PALs) with Atlanta’s youth to help keep them on the straight and narrow.
He said public parks will also be an area of focus for the police.
“You will certainly see the men and women that are here today on horses, on motorcycles, on bikes present not only today in this park, but at our parks throughout the summer,” he said. “As individuals come to our parks – we know that that’s where we celebrate our birthdays or our anniversaries – all those events that are key to us as city residents. So these officers here will be out. We’ve changed their hours. We’ve changed their deployment. And they will be ensuring that those great events and festivities that we celebrate in our parks will continue in a safe manner.”
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